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Rip off Britain - Are we being overcharged?

Discussion in 'TVs' started by boot1973, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. boot1973

    boot1973
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    Being new to this whole groovy TV malarky I would be interested to know the opinions of the more experienced among you as to whether the following is usual..

    http://product.samsung.com/cgi-bin/nabc/product/b2c_product_detail.jsp?eUser=&prod_id=HLR5678WX/XAA

    The above link is to a Samsung 56'' DLP rear project available in the USA. Price $4000 (or around £2200 + VAT)

    2 Questions really:
    1) why is this TV not available here in the UK? (It's specs seem far higher than the Samsung DLP models retailing in this country)
    2) Why is it so cheap (relatively speaking) I can't help feeling that if this model was available here the currency conversion would just be crossing the $ sign out and writing a £.

    Are we just being stuffed in this country or are there legitimate reasons for this?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Razor

    Razor
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    We have always got the short end of the stick on this little Island.


    By the way welcome to the forums.
     
  3. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    1. You pay more for European spec sets, because Europe is a far smaller market.
    2. You ommitted VAT.
     
  4. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    We also pay the "highest acceptable local market price", if folks refused to buy goods at the high prices, we'd get them cheaper.

    Whilst spec'ing an item for Europe does cost extra, its not that much, a few pence or quid on each item. Europe is a big place, believe it or not certain AV items sell more in Europe than the US - until recently there were more widescreen TV sets in Europe than there were in the US. Were the UK sets cheaper? No, because folks were prepared to pay more for them so the price was kept high due to the premium status of having a widescreen set.

    The TV sets (and I'm thinking plasma, lcd and dlp here) that are sold in the US are likely made in the same factory as the ones sold in the UK (especially if they come from Japan/Korea as most do). Price difference is minimal until they reach the respective shores whereupon the local manufacturers office/distributors set the price for the local market.

    Also, try explaining how an item manufactured in the UK or Europe suddenly gets cheaper the moment it hits the US shores? Even taking tax in to account (and that can be balanced by shipping costs) they end up cheaper. The US simply won't buy overpriced goods so the price drops accordingly to ensure the appropriate level of sales.

    Interesting how US goods sold in the UK go up in price when the exchange rate for the dollar rises but yet the price rarely drops when the dollar drops.

    Rip-off Britain indeed.
    Paul
     
  5. loz

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    It is very difficult to compare prices fairly.

    But it is also true that at the end of the day, prices are set by what the market will stand. The prices that the majority of people are prepared to pay in the high street compared to what they could get them at on the Internet (even when the comparison is wholey within the UK) is testament to that.

    Part of the problem IMHO is that the British are either too polite to, or have lost the ability to negotiate. Try going into many shops and asking "what's your best price", and be met with a totally puzzled look. What is more surprising perhaps is that people are used to, even expect to haggle over the price of a car, yet will then walk into a high street store and pay full retail for a plasma screen without raising a murmer.
     
  6. Boris Blank

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    Very true Loz, very true indeed!
    Paul
     
  7. Welwynnick

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    A recurring bee in my bonnet.

    It's not just that it's looks cheap compared with what we get: it has arguably the best picture ever. 1080p resolution, 10000:1 contrast and the best colours ever according to several experienced ISF calibrators. There are other, bigger models for even less than $4k if you search around, and similar competitors from Toshiba and Mitsubishi are also coming on the market.

    They are apparently heading this way, but maybe not in the larger sizes, and not at that sort of price. Mind you, even at £4k, I think it would be worth waiting for.

    I believe the US models are actually manufactured in Mexico, which has got to have some bearing on the economics. Wonder if they also make them in China?

    Nick
     
  8. JayList

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    I work for an American software company and we have acountry uplift for various geos. Uk has about 35% uplift. This is pretty routine for software firms.

    A small part is currency changes, the majority is what the market will bear. :lesson:

    :(

    I was looking forward to a £2500 rd65 :lease:
     
  9. loz

    loz
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    According to the big mac index, UK prices are currently about 12% higher than they should be compared to the US.
     
  10. Son of Shaft

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    it's not only Britain but most parts of Europe. It's ridiculous to see prices of CD's produced in the Netherlands being cheaper in Canada than they are in the Netherlands themselves. There is also a lot of goods that have import tariffs .

    But as mentioned before it's also what the market will bear. For example brand clothing is cheaper in the Netherlands than they are in Italy just because they are more willing to pay.
     
  11. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    And therein lies the problem. Nick (and likely all of us) have already accepted that this tv will cost more in the UK than it will in the US. If we keep accepting a doubling of price then its our own fault that goods cost more - its what we mugs are willing to pay, not what the manufacturers/distributors charge thats the problem. If we don't pay the prices then the prices will be lowered.

    The 1080p sets can be had for £2300 in the States, at most we should be willing to pay around £2700 - a price of £4k is simply outrageous!
    Paul
     
  12. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    Example of how we're ripped off.

    Last year I wanted a SACD of Avalon by Roxy Music. Went on to Amazon UK where it was priced at £15.99.

    Checked the US Amazon site where it was listed as an import from Europe (in other words the same release as the UK) but priced at $10.

    So they import it to the US from the UK, pay shipping and import duties, yet manage to retail it at almost a third of the UK price.

    Not to mention a plethora of US DVD box sets I have bought for a sterling equivalent of £15 or so, only to find them ranging from £40-£60 when released in the UK.

    Rip-off Britain? Most definitely!
     
  13. Razor

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    Paul B youve hit the nail on the head.

    The US is chaeper for everything clothes, AV, cars, house etc. I bought a timberland leather jacket in Florida for £130, when I got back here it was in Harrods for £600
    This was the same for DKNY, Calvin Klein etc....

    We dont half get conned by the tax man and retailers. Time for a revolution.
     
  14. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    Razor :hiya:

    The revolution is here - it's called internet shopping. :thumbsup:

    Do what I do - when I get an absolute bargain on the web, I e-mail the overpriced UK manufacturer / distributor and tell them of the price disparity and say that I will be buying all such products from abroad via the internet from now on.

    If enough of us do it they'll soon get the message.
     
  15. Razor

    Razor
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    Paulie :hiya:

    LOL... thats a good idea Paulie, your right if enough people did that then prices would have no option to fall. :rolleyes:

    You love your letters dont you :smashin:

    I hardly ever use real shops now days, its all mail order for me. :thumbsup:
     
  16. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    The pen is mightier than the retailer! :D

    Seriously though - I am a firm believer in it. No hassle either - I just keep a standard e-mail saved and change the product name and prices and just fire it off - takes all of 30 seconds.

    Let all of the UK retailers that moan about losing trade to foreign sales via the 'net know the reason why.
     
  17. Razor

    Razor
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    :hiya:

    Maybe you should post your standard letter for others to use. Spread the word of Paulie through out the nation.

    Who have you targeted so far?

    :D
     
  18. Drew2

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    Hi Folks,
    "You are not alone"

    Japanese manufacturers make "Home market" specific devices - that way they can keep the prices here over inflated, as they cant use the old chestnut "not a big enough market" here - 120 million population.

    Also, all those wonderful 'state of the art' technologies that we all drool over are generally released in the U.S. before here, until last year if I wanted an upscaling DVD player I would have to get one imported ;yet all the top manufacturers have had these players out in the states for years! :mad:
    (Electronics made by Japanese manufactures can't be imported back into Japan, without the proper licence('bung') - work that one out!!)

    The reason " no demand " my answer " if it aint on the shelf how can you generate a demand for it?"

    Your lovely free view STBs aren't available here - yet terestial digital is here!
    I need to buy a 300 quid cable box to get it - a DVD recorder with a digital receiver is only 50 quid more, yet another DVD player in the house - me thinks not!

    Thats just the tip of the iceberg - car prices and running costs are outrageous!! :( Biggest car manufacterures in the world and their "stuffing" their own people!!

    Anyway you do know that Britain is called "Treasure Island" around the retail world market. :eek:
     
  19. Lion

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    what absolute codswollope...
    we KNOW you get all the latest electronic gizmos in japan years before the rest of the world, and at half the price, you lucky buggers !!! ;) :D
     
  20. Caimbeul

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    Japan are actually around 5 years ahead of the rest o f the world in terms of technology in general (apart from major releases that get worldwide distribution ala: PSP) - They have had robotic receptionists since the 80's gods sake. we are sooo far behind.

    Britain is a rip off and I agree that we should simply not but from retail when possible to try and lower prices. I know this has other effects and you get into the whole support issue you get from retailers vs netailers.
     
  21. loz

    loz
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    That's not true, we have had plenty of robotic receptionists in the UK for decades. Well, some of them appear to be robots :D
     
  22. Welwynnick

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    I feel a bit sore about some of the content on this thread because I have made some effort to avoid simply putting up with the prices of high-tech high value goods in the UK.

    I believe that you have to vote with your feet - if something is too expensive: don't buy it. If you can find something better and cheaper elsewhere, then go and get it, and make sure that supply and demand fit the rules, even if it adds a bit of risk and inconvenience.

    I was all set to import a big CRT projector from the US (I just want the best picture I can get). Then along came these 1080p TVs that promised to do much the same thing for the same money, but with everyday convenience.

    It seemed like an easy decision, but could I pursuade anybody else that it made sense? Almost to a person, everyone on this thread has criticised these ideas, which was a dissappointing surprise. I was actually trying to do something about what we're all moaning about, but everyone says "what a terrible idea".

    I would have thought in this sort of environment that someone who was willing to take a risk and find a way to get what we want, when we want it, at the price we want, would be encouraged! Everybody else stood to gain, just as I have gained from learning from other on the forum. But no, just discouragement.

    Sadly, the thing that really killed the idea was not voltage or NTSC incompatibility or any other resolvable problem like that. It was simply that I couldn't find a single retailer in the US who would export a TV. I don't think we can do anything about that, so no point in missing it. We can't have it.

    Nick :mad:
     
  23. JayList

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    I was also looking at importing a whopper dlp for cheap.

    I suspect that most american retailers are under orders not to ship outside the us. Just like my nixon watch and oakley shades. Manufacturers protect their prices by restricting those prices to markets. The software indusry for example won't let you buy software from the us if you live in the uk, or will refuse you support.

    Another example of manufactuer oligopolys.

    The internet IS lowering prices though. My printer came from france, and my sat nav from lithuania via ebay :thumbsup:

    Plus rip of retailers like dixons are losing money unless they bring their prices down to internet levels.

    It will happen my friend.
     
  24. Lion

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    welwynnick,
    there's no point in saving money by importing something that won't work over here on our pal system as a tv is there ?
    it would just be an expensive monitor.
    and getting it repaired under warranty would be an impossibility as well because british tv engineers would only be trained to repair uk models.
    all in all a nightmare scenario.
    that's why people don't think importing a huge dlp set is worthwhile.
    but it dose'nt mean we like the prices we do have to pay for the uk stuff.
    two separate subjects really.
    :)
     
  25. Chumpy

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    I think the thing to remember in the US is that each state tends to have their own taxation laws for sales tax, luxury tax, and so on, depending on the types of goods that are bought and their value. I wonder if it's not loosely similar to our VAT over here, although if you're Johnny Foreigner you sometimes get away with it - just a thought anyway
     
  26. Welwynnick

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    Yes there is! That's exactly my point. I didn't want to use it as a TV. I would only use Sky HD, DVD and Blu-Ray, connected via a scaler. The TV would only function as a monitor. They don't look too good with compressed SD sources, apparently. So not much point in a PAL or Freeview tuner, then.

    Nick
     
  27. Boris Blank

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    I just think importing something like a DLP set is a bigger risk than its worth. I've imported a crt projector with no problem but they are built like tanks and it was at a cost I was willing to gamble with. I just think that a delicate TV which may or may not work with SkyHD (correct me if I'm wrong but SkyHD will likely be 50hz which the set may very well not be able to handle, necessitating yet more expense on a scaler like a Lumagen to convert to 60hz or whatever) is just not worth the hassle, also if the set arrives broken it'll cost an arm and a leg to send back.

    BUT!! I admit that given that the set has likely travelled quite happily from Japan (or wherever) to get to the US in the first place sort of cancels out part of my argument that the set may be damaged in transit, however I think even leaving this aside, that the other negatives cancel out the advantages sufficiently to make it a far from a worthwhile enterprise.

    I'd import one tomorrow if I thought I could do it successfully but I'm sure it would all end in tears :(
    Paul
     
  28. Razor

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    As Paul B has said neither sky or freeview would work as they are both 50Hz and not 60Hz. I know about this issue as my RD65 cant do 60Hz. A good scaller starts at around 1k. This is a minimum cost and you can spend up and over 2.5k, the sky is the limit. The cheap alternatives never do the job properly and arent worth wasting your cash.

    I think I am right in saying that all of us would import if it was worth while, but it simply isn't. I would have a 82' Mitsubishi in my front room right now with a life sized screen saver of my RD65....:)

    There is one way around the buying from US rules as my father did it for his projector screen he had the same hassles as you. (he saved over £1200). Basically you pay by bank transfer or check and then employ a delivery company (fed ex/dhl etc...) to collect the unit from the store and deliver direct to you. Insure the item and bingo. The US companies dont want to get involved in foreign cards and deliveries, its all to much hassel. (stolen cards/damaged on delivery)

    Lion (My Hero) :hiya:
     
  29. JayList

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    my brother live in the us.So I get stuff shipped to him and he sends it to me.

    That's how I circumnavigate these shipping rules. Plus it's sent as a gift. :smashin: :rolleyes: :devil:
     
  30. Razor

    Razor
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    He couldnt send me a 5 bedroom house with pool. [​IMG]
     

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